Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Workout

I am seriously beat today, so I'm going to discuss the workout that Eli 13.8 does to build his explosiveness and strength. We incorporated some ideas that might be interesting to some of you, particularly if your workout routine has gone a bit stale.

I may have talked about this before, and if so, I apologize.

What I wanted to do with Eli was create a workout that fulfilled the following criteria:
1) a multi-year lifespan (so something that would grow with him).
2) focus on explosiveness, quickness. and strength.
3) no weights. Strength exercises would be body-weight only.
4) constant disruption, so his body didn't get used to the workout.

So with those criteria in mind, here is the list of the exercises we came up with:
--5 minutes on exercise bike
--ball toss (high speed ball tossing--cross toss (two balls in sequence), bounce toss (two balls in sequence), moving toss (two balls in sequence), and simultaneous toss (two balls). We toss these back and forth as fast as I can possibly can. This is for hand quickness and coordination.

--chin-ups (to exhaustion).
--pull-ups (to exhaustion).
--dips (to exhaustion).
--bar lift (I don't think that's the right name, but your hands grasp pegs above you instead of a bar. To exhaustion.)
--one step push-ups. This is a ladder of pushups where you go from 1 to 10 (and back down to 1) with one step in-between. So do a pushup, take a step, do 2 pushups, take a step, do 3 pushups, etc. This is 110 push-ups in total, if you can finish. Eli can do them all.
--ball transfer (using the heaviest weighted ball, go back-to-back with partner and pass ball around as quickly as possible). 50 in each direction.
--ten pound press on wobbleboard. One-handed press of weighted ball to exhaustion. Good multi-function exercise (strength + balance).

Leg Strength:
--stand on gel wobbleboard in goalie stance. Ball toss while balancing. To exhaustion.
--walking bodyweight lunge (90' in total).
--single-leg squat (x20 each leg).

Core Strength:
--core builder (to exhaustion). A leg left from an upright position (legs are off the ground, upper body is secured). Goal is to get legs parallel to floor. To exhaustion.
--Superman toss. Lay on stomach, extend legs and arms off ground (just like Superman in flight). Catch tossed balls. To exhaustion.

--rope skipping (5x30 sec, 20 sec break. At boxer speed.)
--hop-hop-stick (just like it sounds: two lateral hops on the same foot, then land on the other foot. You go back and forth in a set of 12).
--step-step-stick (two quick lateral steps, not hops, then land on the outside foot. Back and forth in a set of 12).

--vertical leap (2x12 standard, 2x12 "star" leap).
--standing broad jump (90' in total, as few jumps as possible).
--power skips for height (90' in total).
--power skips for distance (150' in total).

What makes this workout disruptive is that after warm-up, the order for the exercises is completely at random. Each exercise is on an index card, and we shuffle the cards before each workout. So instead of doing these in some kind of logical order, they can be in any order. That makes it a very different workout, depending on the card order.

Plus, today we tried the "Cash Moneyville" workout for the first time. I cut four pieces of yellow construction paper and randomly inserted them into the index cards. When we saw the "gold" paper, that was a moneymaker exercise. Eli had 30 seconds to negotiate with me as to how much money he could make with each rep. If he was asking for too much, I'd say "lower". If he wasn't asking for enough, I'd say "higher".

Yes, he loves The Price is Right.

It wasn't much money, but it was a huge incentive to get the biggest possible reward. So the four "gold" exercises he did at a much higher rate (his normal rate is high already). That made the workout disruptive at multiple levels, because he was using different effort on a few exercises, and that affected the entire workout.

The next step (eventually) is to advance the workout in terms of adding balance elements as often as possible. So when he does single-leg squats, for example, he might do them on a wobbleboard (which is really, really difficult).

If you're thinking that this workout is insanely difficult, it is for me. It's not, though, for Eli. He destroys this workout now, which is why I added the "gold card" element for the first time today. Plus, he likes the work, which really sets him apart from most kids. He enjoys working hard, and the workout is clearly making him faster and stronger.

This takes about 45 minutes, roughly, and it's good time. If you're doing one kind of workout all the time (like running), this is a nice way to break things up and focus on your entire body. And I hope you guys can incorporate some of these principles into your own workouts.

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